According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, Worcester police recently arrested a Framingham High School music teacher on domestic violence charges. According to a second article, the court also issued a restraining order against the defendant under G. L. c. 209A, § 7. The articles state that the defendant and the alleged victim became romantically involved in 2011, shortly after the alleged victim graduated from the high school, where she was one of the defendant’s students. The relationship last approximately five years. The incident in question reportedly occurred when the alleged victim went to the defendant’s home in Worcester to discuss their relationship. Specifically, the alleged victim confronted the defendant about being in a relationship with another woman. An argument ensued, during which the defendant allegedly refused to let the alleged victim leave. The alleged victim also claimed that during the argument, the defendant pushed her into a wall, cabinets, and a door, slammed a door on her arm, and pushed her child, whom she apparently brought with her, into a bush. The alleged victim also showed police bruises, which she claims were the result of the defendant’s assault.
The defendant testified at the restraining order hearing in his defense, stating that he and the alleged victim had already broken up and that he was in the process of moving in with a new girlfriend. The defendant was ultimately charged with one count of kidnapping, two counts of assault and battery on a family or household member, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, one count of witness intimidation and one count of assault and battery.
Although the charges are certainly serious, and have significant implications on the defendant’s career, he does appear to have a defense – namely, that the alleged victim is not telling the truth. First, the defendant testified at the restraining order hearing that his relationship with the alleged victim was not only over, but that he was moving in with another woman. Presumably his defense at trial would be the same. In light of the fact that the alleged victim was being left behind for another woman, the defendant can argue that she had a substantial motive to fabricate the allegations. Essentially, the defendant can argue that the alleged victim was motivated to prevent the defendant from moving forward in his new relationship, and made up these allegations to stop him from doing so. This argument is further bolstered by the alleged victim’s own acknowledgement that she went to the defendant’s house to confront him because she believed he was seeing another woman. The defendant also has additional arguments that he can make to call the alleged victim’s credibility into question. Specifically, based on the alleged victim’s description of the incident, at least some part of it appears to have occurred outside, as she claims that the defendant pushed her son into a bush. This seems to directly contradict her claim that the defendant prevented her from leaving the house. Finally, although the alleged victim did present with some injuries, there does not appear to be anyone else to corroborate the allegation that they were caused by the defendant.
Despite the fact that the defendant may have a strong defense, however, the charges are still concerning. The defendant will undoubtedly need an experienced attorney to investigate the case, including determining where the alleged assault occurred – and therefore whether it seems likely that someone would have witnessed the alleged incident if it had actually happened – and determining whether there are other instances in which the alleged victim has fabricated or exaggerated what happened.
If you or a loved one is facing a similar situation, you will likewise need an experienced attorney to act on your behalf. Attorney Daniel Cappetta knows how to properly investigate a case, build a defense, and zealously advocate on behalf of his clients. Call him for a free consultation today.